Dialog with Story: Hello, I’m There Again

Me: So I've decided to buckle down and spend the entire year concentrating on my writing. Story: Big whoop. Me: You're not helpful. This is a big decision. I want to see where I am at the end of the year. Story: See my previous statement. If you need me I'll be over here yawning. …

Late Afternoon Thoughts on a Novel in Progress

I am not using italics for the Spanish translations in the Haxan prequel novel. I want to show stylistically the Spanish and English is all one part of the same culture. Now whether or not I am ultimately successful in this is open to debate. But that's my philosophy why I am not underlining Spanish …

“The Whistler” is being aired on Theater 13 Radio!

Theater 13 Radio is running an Old Time Radio marathon of The Whistler. This classic radio show was based on horror, mystery, suspense and other genres. The main thing about this show is you get to follow the story through the eyes of the murderer, and yet the story always takes an unexpected twist in …

The Smoke and Mirrors Effect in Writing

Writing, good writing, is all about smoke and mirrors. You've heard the old saw Truth is stranger than fiction. It's also unpublishable as fiction. Truman Capote's In Cold Blood notwithstanding, trying to write pure fact as pure fiction is darn near impossible. Even for all of Capote's talent and genius he knew enough not to …

Stuck on a Haxan Story for a Year…and I’m Glad

Yesterday at the coffee shop I sat and listened to some old Gunsmoke radio episodes. These are always good for recharging my batteries, so to speak. Especially when I am deeply involved in writing western stories...or stories in general. The dialog is fantastic and the pacing and structure of the old time radio stories are …

Theater 13 Radio Marathon: CBS Radio Mystery Theater

Theater 13 Radio is ringing in the New Year by running a CBS Radio Mystery Theater marathon. This was the classic radio show hosted by E.G. Marshall. I just love listening to Old Time Radio because the emphasis is on dialog, an important aspect of fiction. It's always a learning experience for me. Hope you …

Les Miserables: “Hunger comes with love.”

I finished reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo for the second time some years back.  The first time I read it was in high school.  I liked it then, I love it now, even after all this time. I guess everyone knows about Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread and being pursued by Javert.  …

Ikiru: Making Death Relevant by Kurosawa

This film examines a fundamentally human question we all wrestle with from time to time. Is the universe a dark and cold place, or do our actions have lasting, and permanent, consequences?  Kurosawa doesn't answer the question because it's fundamentally unanswerable. As most human questions are. But his characters speak and react as if they …

Gunsmoke: “I will not tolerate a disturbance. You know me.”

Forget everything you know, or think you know, about Matt Dillon and Kitty and Doc.  This radio series which ran for nine years was meant to be an adult-oriented western that broke the mold and challenged the archetypal Western hero.  The creators, Norman MacDonnell and John Meston wanted to shatter all Western stereotypes.  They were …

Dragnet – Old Time Radio that delivers stark violence and murder for adults

I am always amazed at how "adult" OTR is compared to the sanitized candycorn of TV from the same era. Or even compared to many commercial television programs slopping their sugar water today. One such example is Dragnet. The old radio programs are very brutal and violent, very different from the watered down television programs …

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